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Trojan War

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The Trojan War preceded the period of Greek history, but ancient history traces back to it. Even if it weren't important historically, the colorful supernatural, romantic, and tragic stories about the 10 years of Greek heroes fighting the wealthy Trojans and their allies are well worth knowing.
  1. Homer
  2. Judgment of Paris
  3. Abduction of Helen
  4. The Action of the Trojan War
  1. Trojan Horse
  2. The Return of the Greek Heroes
  3. Homeric Society

Homer

Marble bust of Homer

A blind bard called Homer is credited with writing ancient Greece's two major epics, the Iliad and The Odyssey.

Judgment of Paris

Judgement of Paris by Lucas Cranach.

The Judgment of Paris set the Trojan War in motion. You may find elements similar to the fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty.

Abduction of Helen

Les Amours de Pâris et d'Hélène, by Jacques-Louis David

Hospitality was important in the ancient world. Without certain standards of expected behavior on the part of host and visitor, anything could happen, as, indeed, it did when the Trojan prince Paris, a guest of King Menelaus, stole Menelaus' wife Helen.

The Action of the Trojan War

Trojan War Heroes

The Trojan War itself took ten years. The gods ranged themselves on either side, especially after the humans offended their pride, and occasionally got involved in the conflict. The Greeks had no chance of winning without Philoctetes and his arrows of Hercules.

Trojan Horse

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The Trojan War was won after the Greeks tricked the Trojans into accepting their gift, the wooden horse housing armed men.

The Return of the Greek Heroes

Greek Sacrifice

The Odyssey is the title of a work about the return home of the crafty Greek hero Odysseus and his ultimately happy reunion with his faithful wife. There were other returns that are worth knowing, as well.

Homeric Society

Image ID: 1619682  The lion gate of Mycenae.

The society in which Homer lived and that about which he wrote were different. Elements of his own time, the Archaic age, colored Homer's look at what we call the Homeric age, from roughly 1400 to 800 B.C., when the Mycenaeans dominated the landscape.

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